I’ve been working on this story in Khmer, where Jesus takes 5 loaves and two fish and feeds the crowd of at least 5,000 (they only counted the men in those days I guess). This story has been bouncing around in my brain too. What does it mean for me?
If I was one of the disciples, I would have had the same thoughts as are recorded in Mark 6. This is a remote place, there aren’t many little food stands set up to accommodate all these people. What little there is should go toward filling our own stomachs. I would hold tightly to the bread and fish, count them again, work out the puzzle in my head over and over. How could this possibly work?
I do the same thing here. Our trips to the big city and the grocery store are few and far between. I write up my list, going over it again and again to make sure we haven’t forgotten anything, looking in our cabinet and thinking about how many days and weeks we need to make these precious provisions last. When I do make it to the city, after living in survival mode and making do with what we have, I want to take it all in. I’ve already eaten my fill at this wonderful restaurant with western food but this is my only chance so I must finish it all! Not a crumb must be left! We never see dried blueberries so I must pay $18 for a bag in order to bring a little bit of happiness to our breakfast table. But these luxuries must be spread out, we need to ration our provisions so special things can be enjoyed over the three months before we can get more. The same goes for trips to America! My suitcase becomes precious cargo when every nook and cranny is filled with all the things I want to bring back with me, like special photos, a real book for when I get tired of reading on my Kindle, almond butter and quinoa and canned pumpkin. I pray and pray and pray it doesn’t get lost somewhere between Nebraska and Asia.
Do I love that way too? Do I hold tightly to the resources of my own heart, slowly giving them out so that I can make that precious energy, the grace and compassion last?
But Jesus took those meager provisions and gave thanks and broke them. There was enough, and not just for everyone to have a light snack. No, everyone was full and there were baskets-full left over! Overflowing abundance. I have to stop and look in the cupboard again. Have we ever gone hungry? Have we ever completely run out of water, even when I was sure it would happen? No. God has provided in each area of need. Is it wrong to stock up on almond flour and honey, nice beans or cheese when we go to town? No. But do I hold too tightly to those things rather than finding contentment in God’s provision?
And, this heart of mine. Do I trust the God who took so little and made it much to do the same with me? Because He is enough, I can be enough. He can take my feeble attempts, my weaknesses, and shine His light through to the darkness around me.
Linking up with Velvet Ashes and their discussion this week.